American Black Film Festival Shows Challenges Of Millennial Entrepreneurship

Jun 17, 2019

The American Black Film Festival, an annual event that brings together emerging black filmmakers and artists, wrapped up it’s last day in South Florida over the weekend.

Among the films showed was “Legacy Lives On,” a documentary about the struggle of three black millennial women to reach financial freedom through their own side hustles and business ambitions. It's the result of a collaboration between by Prudential Financial and Urban One, a leading online voice for black writers and artists.

“What this documentary does is inspire people to look at money differently, to look at their finances differently," said actor Laz Alonso, one of the voices in the film. "To not feel like the conventional route that has always been pumped since we were children is the only option to obtaining financial stability and success.”

Against the backdrop of rapid gentrification and rising rent prices in major cities like New York, San Francisco and Miami, conversations about economic empowerment for black communities aren't without risk, said Alonso. 

“How can we control our financial destiny and not put it in somebody else’s hands? Because it’s obvious that they don’t have our best interests in mind,” Alonso said.

Tiffany Aliche is a financial advisor who’s featured in the documentary. She founded her own business, called “The Budgetnista,” and wants to empower black women to reach financial success with her books, talks and free online finance-savvy resources.

Even though the film isn’t set in Miami, she hopes it reaches black communities in South Florida, especially as the region faces an affordable housing crisis that’s one of the worst nationwide.

“Black women make up to 70 percent of the financial choices in the household. So that means if you’re wanting to uplift this community, if you’re wanting to shift the culture, you have to really do that through black women,” Aliche said.

 

Participants at The American Black Film Festival on Miami Beach on Saturday, June 16, 2019.
Credit Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN News

Aliche hopes that, as the film gains more exposure, communities in Miami will be able to better take control of their financial destiny. 

"A spotlight needs to be shown on financial wellness, and honestly the lack thereof, especially in this community," she said.